Friday, April 30, 2010

"Those poor rats..." followed by a heavy sigh.

You're saying, "Wait, we already know the story of the Rats with the little Nike shoes."

That's true, you do. This is an update. You didn't realize that it could be updated, did you? You thought your rat history lesson was over at the end of that story. Well, it turns out that it is not.

I've made mention about how we need to raise funds for our youngest daughter to go to New York City with the high school orchestra. And there's an Interweb person who is going to help us out by mentioning the attempt at fundraising on her insanely popular website. I have to set up a Paypal and an Etsy shop and the lovely and psychotically funny April Winchell of Regretsy fame will tell her brethren about us and hopefully we can raise enough money to send two kids (our own and another). There's no set goal in cost, because any money raised will be put into the pool and lower the overall cost for everyone. But, more on that later...

Thursday (April 29) I had parent/teacher conferences at the high school. I told Mr. P (the orchestra teacher) about the fundraising we were hoping to do. I had to talk as fast as I could because the high school conferences are set up in the gymnasium and the teachers are alphabetically set up at tables. You go to who you need to and that's that (lots of walking and standing). Anyway, I'm one of those courteous bastards who tries not to take up too much time. Anyway, Mr. P was very interested in our proposal and wrote down this website (Hello, Mr. P!) and to Regretsy.

The plan, thus far, is to have DG make up some little birdhouses or bird feeders. You know, something small and easily mailable. April Winchell of Regretsy fame told me how to price things so the shipping is included and all the profits will go to the orchestra fund. Now, along with small wooden things that DG can make, one of us ("us" being me, Kat or Ceej) will draw up a picture of a rat wearing little Nike shoes (or wearing "globally trademarked athletic footwear"). We'll get prints made and sell those too. And there is where the conversation today started.

We were going over what we have planned in the near future- Jase's high school graduation, our dog is having puppies, Ceej's 17th birthday is coming and DG needs to drive down to North Carolina to take a big porch swing and a plant stand to his parents. And I told him about talking to Mr. P last night (because as I type this, its still Friday). I said, "You have to make a bunch of small stuff for me, birdhouses or bird feeders- your choice." DG agreed and said something about how he knows he has to do that... and I added, "I still have to draw up a picture of the rat wearing little Nike shoes."

Then, I told him about Ceej's concept of what the picture should look like: A rat, sitting down, reading a book ("Rat History" of course), wearing globally trademarked athletic footwear, and a group of younger rats are gathered around to listen to the story... and they are also wearing the little Nike shoes.

DG: "You know that's sad. They have to listen to that story so they don't make the same mistakes. Always wear your little Nike shoes. You don't wanna get stone bruises and blisters on your little rat feet."

Me: "That's why they take rat history class."

DG: "They're wearing little T-shirts too, not all of them, just the ones who do it- the 'Walk for Life'."

Me: "Whose life? All the rats on the road are long-dead. It happened in Shakespeare's time."

DG: "I know. They walk in a marathon- some of them run- and they raise money for the rats."

Me: "Why would they raise money for dead rats?"

DG: "Not for the dead ones, for their families, you know... what's the word? They're desss... [I said "descendants"]... yeah, their descendants. So they never have to go without little Nike shoes. And those rats who can't afford little Nike shoes. They have to get shoes somewhere. But you know those poor rats, they're not wearing Nikes. They're wearing cheap-ass shoes. But that's okay, because if they wear those, they won't get bruises. Nikes are better, but any shoe is better than no shoe. [pause] Well, shoes, really, because who only needs one shoe? Rats need four."

Me: "How is the rat holding a book if he's wearing shoes on both sets of feet?"

DG (looking at me like I'd grown a second head): "What? Who- what are you- OH! Yeah, yeah, okay, the rats walk on the back feet. Like that rat in that movie. You know that rat? He was in the movie?"

Me: "Ratatouille?"

DG: "Yeah, he walked on his back feet and he did just fine. But he was a city rat. They don't have to walk on rocky dirt roads."

Me: "So, let's get this straight- rats wear little Nike shoes to keep from getting little stone bruises and blisters because their ancestors all died on the 'Road of Death' leading out from London and they hold a walk for charity to buy shoes- not always Nike shoes- for poor rats who can't afford it?"

DG: "That's right. [pause] You know those shoes that are on the wires?" (you see them in cities/towns, thrown over power lines. Some say its a gang thing, but its also a military thing). "Those are put there by rats to honor their dead ancestors who died on the road. And its a reminder to never go on a long walk without your little Nike shoes."

So, there you have it. Rats listen to the story, go on charity walk-a-thons, and throw old shoes over power lines all to honor the poor dead rats from Shakespearean days who needlessly died on the way out of London to the Royals' "country home" ten miles outside of the city's walls. The next time you see a pair of shoes over a power line, you will remember the rats and you will mourn for them.

EXTRA UPDATE: I finished typing the above and before I could add links and such, I had to get up from the desk and deal with "real life" (who needs that?!). I told DG that I was getting ready to post the updated story. He said, "Why? They don't do nothing."

Me: "Who doesn't do anything?"

DG: "The rats. They already know the story."

Me: "But don't you think the story should be shared with humans? Rats can't share it, they don't speak 'human'..."

DG put his hand to his head and said in a gravelly, intense voice: "They come to me in my sleep! They share things with me! Gruesome things! The rats! The bruises! OHHHH!" and then he pretended to pass out.

DG is nothing if not dramatic.

And a photo bonus. Some of you may have heard about "Boobquake". If not, you should Google it. There's a Facebook group for it. The gist of it is, an Iranian cleric blamed women who dress provocatively for earthquakes and leading men astray, and contributing to pre-marital and extramarital sex. So, to prove this person was... insane, they staged "Boobquake". Women the world over wore cleavage-baring shirts. I got DG in on the act.

This is my photo from Boobquake (I added text in Photoshop, it isn't official text). Mine is also my daily submission in my 365days Self-portrait project on Flickr.

73 of 365 Boobquake 2010!!

Now, after I did my photo, DG decided he should get in on it. As you recall, DG likes boobs. So, he showed his support for Boobquake in his own way. He suggested putting his shirt up like that and he posed, making that face all on his own.

He posed all on his own...

Rock the boobs... rock the boobs.

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